DENIM / Us Helping Us
HIV-positive Black gay/bisexual men, ages 18-29
- DENIM Community Center
- Participants’ homes
- Bars & clubs
- House Ball events
- Linkage to care
- Retention in care
- Antiretroviral therapy
- Viral suppression
- AIDS Health Care Foundation
- DC Department of Health
- Prince George’s County Health Department
- Pharmaceutical companies (e.g., Janssen, Gilead, Merck)
- Unity Health Care, Inc.
- Whitman-Walker Health
HIV Care Continuum
Developing and Empowering New Images of Men (DENIM) is an adaptation of CDC’s Mpowerment intervention, a community-building program designed to reduce transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Mpowerment is based on a peer-driven educational model that engages individuals outside of the traditional clinical or case-manager model of care.
The DENIM project takes place at Us Helping Us, a Washington, DC-based community health organization founded in 1985 that offers support and social services for Black gay/bisexual men. In 2011, DENIM was launched to engage and empower young gay/bisexual men of color through provocative group discussions designed to reduce HIV risk. Services include youth engagement programs, HIV/STI screening and linkage to care, social-support services, and interventions for HIV-positive young gay/bisexual men.
DENIM is run by a “core group” of 10 individuals recruited from local patient communities of gay/bisexual Black men. This group designs and implements many of the peer-led DENIM activities including:
- Common Bonds, a biweekly, peer-led support group for HIV-positive gay/bisexual men, ages 18-29
- Get Fit, a monthly fitness and healthy living program
- IlluMENations/Pillow Talk, a peer-led group discussion on sexual activities and negotiating risk reduction
- MPower You, a monthly job-readiness program that supports resume writing, interview skills, and job search tips
- Skate Night, a large-scale monthly event for young gay/bisexual men of color
- Vogue Night, a monthly event that engages members of the ballroom community for a night of creativity and self-expression through dance
HIV-prevention information and HIV/STI screenings are provided at all social events.
"There is a certain closeness with other Black gay men, communication skills, and safe space you get at DENIM that you won’t find anywhere else in the area."
Program Participant, DENIM